I have often wondered what makes someone who they are. We are often told of nature and nurture. Nature being the genetics you were born with and nurture being the environment you grow up in. Lately I’ve thought perhaps there is a third aspect, that of mindfulness.
Mindfulness is choosing to do things, consciously. It overrides other things such as emotion, because it is logical. It’s objective you might say.
A possible example is I want to have a candy bar.
- Nature– I shouldn’t because it will be bad for my health.
- Nurture– I shouldn’t because I will feel guilty, regretful and get disapproval.
- Mindfulness– I shouldn’t because the bad consequences outweigh the good for me.
It is a decision based on logic rather than emotion and impulsion. This may seem a slight change, but it can make a great deal of difference. Living with mindfulness can create more strength in your personal morality and increase the success of following it in your actions, leading to positivity in many ways.
This theory of mindfulness being a third vital part in an person’s development or personality or identity, however you’d like to describe it, also answers other questions. I’ve often heard of someone acting a certain way and their actions being attributed to their nature or nurture. Genes or environment. And sometimes people even say that justifies negative actions. But then almost immediately comes to my mind, that there are often instances of people raised in negative environments, with relatives who have negative traits, being wonderful people. “Overcoming” their misfortune, or simply being a wonderful radiant human being despite their negative surroundings and difficult life. These people don’t even have to be exceptionally positive. There are people raised in negative environments, with negative genealogy that are simply positive. They are different from their nature and nurture components. There is something else that is behind this occurrence. What could be the reason? Mindfulness. It transcends nature and nurture. Mindfulness is empowering. Mindfulness is the individual having a moral code and consciously striving for it.
The individual consciousness of each person is the difference. Some might call it “soul”. It is independent of and superior to nature and nurture. Therefore it is more than integral to every individual. I think this can help in understanding people. For instance, obviously people will disagree at times, we all seem to have a different morality, as we have different individual consciousnesses. Perhaps disagreements and the separation and isolation of people may be overcome with compromise, understanding and unity. In any case, to communicate and act effectively, it is important to remember anyone you interact with is different from you.
For these and other reasons, I often think people may have a reason for their actions, but not an excuse. As in a reason being a driving force, a cause, etc. And an excuse being something that makes the action excusable. Anyway, how could we have an excuse for anything? We will never know everything. We ourselves are in a constant state of flux-including our morality, it develops with every second and experience-and so is the rest of the universe. Hindsight constantly makes things clearer, but that only tells me how much more there is to learn and know, which is great and scary.
Well at least I seem to more clearly comprehend one of the infinite amount of riddles to contemplate. Hope this may be of service to anyone. Feel free to give feedback if you wish. Peace.